I see by the reports on the news this morning that we are now at war. No surprise there. Well, technically we were at war since 8:00 last night when the president gave his speech. But I didn't watch or listen to it. I avoided all news. I just wanted to delay knowing for sure as long as possible... not that that strategy gaurenteed me a good night sleep. In fact, I had a very poor night sleep. Tossed and turned all night, and had a variety of very interesting dreams. I don't recall all of them now, but one involved putting my computer into the refrigerator on the theory that cooling down the CPU would improve the performance. Yeah, geek dreams. And my dream did not address how I was going to be able to use the computer while it was residing comfortable in the fridge, next to the bread and lunchmeat. But at the time, this didn't worry me.
The war, however, does worry me very much.
I am not religious. I don't pray. But I hope that this is over soon.
There are two constants in life, or so the great thinkers say: Death and Taxes.
Personally, I hope to avoid the first one for a good while longer. Unfortunatly, I have to deal with the second every year. Am half-heartedly dealing with it now, in fact. I am almost no motivation to plow through the paper work since I know I am not going to be getting anything back, and, in all probabilty, will find that I owe. The company I worked for this past year (after I got my Masters and before I was downsized due to the lack of sales spurred on by the downspiriling economy) didn't withold enough... It is enough to make one reconsider their basic stance against tax fraud, I tell you.
To all who are Irish out there, happy St. Paddy's Day. Too bad your special day had to be so ruined by all of the wind and bluster that came from the oval office...
I am not Irish. None of my family is in the least tiny bit Irish. Yet for some unfathomable reason I and my brothers all have good, solid, Irish names: Kara, Brian, Jeffery, and Kevin. Those are pretty Irish-sounding, wouldn't you agree? Well, surprise - my ancestry is Eastern European. Though you wouldn't be able to tell that through the whims of bab-naming and an Ellis Island name (Lock) that generally leads people to assume that we are of English extraction and often results in my being asked if I am related to the philosopher John Locke (Sorry, I am not)
Anyway... back to our ye olde war-mongering president... So it looks like it might be war after all. Not that there was any real doubt in the matter, what with Bush practically foaming at the mouth to push the shiny button recently.
I remember the last war, which was also started by a Bush. My family had been on a two week long camping vaction in the Colorado Rockies at the end of the summer, so we were a bit out of touch with current events. On our way home, on one of the many stops that are made when a family is traveling by interstate with a car full of kids (bathroom, McDonald's, hotel, gar, get out and stretch...) my Mom picked up a newspaper. (Incidently, I think that this happened at a stop for gas, and may have been somewhere in Nebraska - correct me here if I am wrong, Mom) I remember her saying "Oh. We are at war." in a very surprised and somewhat disbelieving tone. And there it was. I was just getting into high school at the time, so I didn't pay much attention to it, and it effected me not at all... but here it is, more than ten years later, and I have since attained a Bachelors Degree and a Masters Degree and am trying to find work in a recession economy and this time I will be effected. Boy howdy, will I ever.
I watched Bush's address last night and recieved no surprises. He has been saying the same things over and over with little to no variation for the last several months now, so why should I have expected anything different? I don't know... maybe I was expecting to hear him finally address a number of issues that have been deeply concerning me about this proposed war. First, where are we going to get the money for the fighting and the following occupation? Especially considering the soaring unemployment, lack of consumer confidance, and plunging stock market. Isn't Bush's first responsibility supposed to be his own country? What about all of the promises that he made during his campaign trail, lo those many years ago? Wat happened to them? Education? Health care? Oh, and my personal favorite campaign statement was the one where he said that the US army should not be used for nation building, and that the United States needed to be 'more humble' when it came to foreign relations. What does this current action count as, if not nation building? Iraq will end up being dependent on the US for years to come...is that what we want?
I have had a couple of people insinuate that I am unpatriotic because I do not and will not support Bush's war. (Of course, I was also told I was unpatriotic today because I was not wearing green - go figure) I do not think that being patriotic requires that I march lockstep along to whatever dictum happens to fall from the lips of our Great Leader. But of course that is simply the opinion of one person.
Oh, I agree that the war will stimulate the economy. Temporarily. But that temporary rise will be followed by a drop again in a couple of years... I think that history will bear me oput here. No nation can sustain a wartime economy for very long.
And then I listened to the resignation speech of Robin Cook, the former leader of the British House of Commons. Now there was an eloquent, thoughtful, well-reasoned, intelligent, and passionate man. Too bad our G. Dubya can't take him as a mentor/role model. It might go a lot better for the country if he did.
The lesson learned this weekend was don't throw -anything- away. Ever. Because you never know if someone will be willing to pay hundreds of dollars for it in 50 years or so.
I went home to Cleveland Friday to visit my folks. Every year for the past couple of years, my Mom and Grandma go to a Depression Glass show, and I have wanted to go with them for a while. So the show was the primary impetus for the visit. The show was...amazing. Picture a hall...a pretty big banquet style of hall... that is packed full of dealers and collectors and glass and is so brightly lit that for that first couple of minutes after you enter all you can think is, "sparkly". There are so many different styles and patterns and colors and a special vocabulary unique to those versed in Depression Glass. Candlewick. Shell and Tassel. King's Crown. Hobnail. Moonstone. Thousand Eye. Twilight. Those were some of my favorite colors and patterns. Thousand Eye is one of my favorite patterns... and of course, is one of the rarest and most expensive. Candlewick, Hobnail, and Moonstone are more resonable, but by no means cheap. If you are at all curious about what I am blathering about here, feel free to email me and I will be happy to answer any questions.
I was one of the youngest people there.
It was just unbelievable how much some of the glass was selling for... especially given that a lot of the stuff at the show was stuff that my Grandma remembers as being available for a nickle at every corner five-and-dime, or were given away as freebis promotional items when she was a girl. She used these things. She and her mother and her grandmother. And my Mom remembers some of the items as being from her childhood as well. That is the main reason I like Depression Glass (and other antiques) so much, I think... It is not so much that they are very pretty (and they are) but it is the sense of history and the connection between generations. Especially now, now that my Grandma is getting so old and fragile. I want to savor every moment with her.
And I love hearing about her childhood and what it was like growing up in the early part of the century, and the glass is a good way to spark someof those stories. She will start off telling me how to tell quality pieces or how to tell if it a piece is genuine or a reproduction, and then end up telling me about how her mother had a piece exactly like it when she was a girl.
It was a good weekend. I doubt that I will ever move back to Cleveland, though I do enjoy visiting. But by the same token, I doubt that I will ever move somewhere that is very far away.
Welcome to the inaguration of the latest incarnation of my website and the first installation of my web log (fine... blog). This is actually going to be a pretty short one, since I still have to finish uploading everything. And then comes the testing and the tweaking and the 'finishing touches' for the next week or two. So while this is the solid framework of the site, it is by no means done yet. And probably never will be since like everything that is online these days, I expect that it will keep changing and developing until that day that I decide I am bored with the layout and re-do everything.
Also, it is still pretty early in the morning, and I have not had my coffee yet. I have not even made it. And man, I could really use that sweet, sweet caffiene about now.
So here goes nothing...time to set everything to upload while I grind myself some beans for the morning brew.